When I joined the company at the end of 2018 as head of commercial delivery, I was tasked with delivering new buildings and infrastructure, as part of a £25m investment. Since then we have built and handed over three new units totalling 64,000 square feet.
With our ambition to become one of the leading business park operators in the UK, we ensure we build first class units which are ‘future proofed’ for our customers.
Part of this ‘future proofing’ is as much about what goes on outside the building as what happens within it. Therefore, protecting the climate and creating an excellent environment for our customers is a major priority.
For example, we have invested around half a million pounds in installing solar panels on all the new buildings at Potter Space Ripon. As a consequence, we are now generating 26 percent of all the electricity for the Ripon business park from the solar panels, with any excess generated at the weekend being fed back into the Grid. In addition to increasing our solar ‘footprint’, in the future we are now looking at the feasibility of installing battery installations to capture the excess currently exported to the grid to further improve the business parks’ self-sustainability.
In line with energy generation we have also installed electric vehicle charging points and provided bicycle parks. Furthermore, we are currently looking into how we can support ‘E Bikes’ in the future.
These, and other factors around design and insulation have enabled us to achieve a carbon ‘neutral’ rating on the Energy Performance Certificate for Unit 52, our latest new build, which is a great achievement.
We also recognise that people want to enjoy coming to work, so we do all we can to create an environment that is good for their health and wellbeing. That’s why we are spending a lot of time and effort in ensuring the business parks are sympathetically landscaped with outside communal and eating areas. We have created external ‘quiet’ areas too, where people can unwind and gather their thoughts.
We know our customers want to be proud of their location, so we invest in keeping the business parks clean and tidy, which combined with our new and distinctive branding results in visitors being impressed from the moment they arrive.
When you combine the environmental initiatives we have introduced, which align with the green agenda post Covid-19, together with the attention to detail we give to each individual business park, and the high specification of the new units, we believe we have all the right ingredients to differentiate ourselves from other business park operators.